Thursday, August 29, 2013

This Note Made My Day!

11819 The single most gratifying experience in children’s publishing is hearing that your books make a difference in children’s lives.  Talented Lerner author Buffy Silverman, who wrote our Lightning Bolt Books Animal Look-Alikes series (cover pictured)—as well as many other well-respected Lerner books—recently passed a note along to me that made my day by describing in touching detail how some of her titles inspired a second-grade class. Below is that note.

Hello Buffy!
I'm a second grade teacher in the Bronx.  My classroom has lot of books. However, they are mostly ripped, broken, and dated.  It's been hard to motivate the students to use these books. My solution was to supplement our in-class library with books from our local library.  That's where you come in.

During my library visit, I discovered your nonfiction books.  I checked out every single copy.  Soon my entire class was reading from your Animal Look-Alikes series.  I've never seen them so excited and interested in reading. These books are perfectly aligned with the new Common Core State Standards. The series was an important resource in teaching the children the skill of compare and contrast.  The children were excited about discovering the similarities and differences between animals.  They challenged themselves to practice these skills by using Venn diagrams and t-charts.  Then, they created compare and contrast posters and even wrote essays.  
Buffy, I wanted you to know how helpful you were to my teaching experience. Please understand what a powerful tool your books were in my classroom.  Not only did the students love reading them, but the books facilitated their understanding of a fundamental skill. More important, introducing the kids to these books changed our relationship.  They started to open up and take more chances in their learning. The children trusted me as their educator.

What a joy to hear how Lerner’s Animal Look-Alikes affected these students’ lives! And how they helped one truly outstanding teacher to do the work that she does best. This, folks, is the kind of thing that inspires authors and editors to pour our hearts and souls into our books each day.

Many thanks to second-grade teacher
Debbie Buardo for her permission to share her eloquent words on our blog. Thank you, too, to Buffy and to each and every Lerner editor, photo editor, and designer who worked so hard to bring our Animal Look-Alikes series to life.


  1. Way to go, Buffy. Your books are great, and the make a difference. Congratulations!

  2. Super, just a wonderful win/win for everyone.
    What a gifted teacher too.

    All good things,
    Lori Eslick

  3. WOW! What an awesome letter. You wrote a very smart series and a very smart classroom agrees.

    Lisa Wheeler

  4. Ann, I heartily second the congrats to Buffy! We are so very grateful to count Buffy among our authors' pool here at Lerner. Lori, this is indeed a win/win for everyone! I couldn't have been more impressed or inspired by teacher Debbie Buardo's talent and commitment. Lisa, WOW is right:) I'm so thrilled about how this smart class used Animal Look-Alikes to enhance their lessons.

  5. Buffy is indeed a fine writer and remarkable woman. I still treasure one of her early publications featuring a little bat.

  6. Thanks for commenting, Debbie! Buffy really is a talent. She has such a gift for writing about animals and other science topics.